Pope to Visit Ocracoke

Andrew Stern
The "Popemobile." It's cooler than your golf cart.
The "Popemobile." It's cooler than your golf cart.
The island is a stop on the Pope's first U.S. tour.

Exciting news from the Vatican this week as papal spokesman Cardinal Jose-Maria Antonio Bruschetta de los Santos announced the itinerary for Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States, scheduled for late summer. The itinerary includes stops in Philadelphia, Washington, Ocracoke, Atlanta, and Miami.

It is unclear whether the Pope plans to brave highway 12, ride one of the long ferries, or simply take the papal hovercraft. An aide sought to assure the public that he will make it one way or the other, “even if he has to walk on water.”

Pope Francis will become just the third pontiff to visit Ocracoke. Boniface V was shipwrecked here in 621, while Blessed John Paul II came to participate in the fishing tournament in 1998, winning third place. Cardinal Santos noted that the Pontiff shares several affinities with the people of Ocracoke – he speaks Latin with an accent that makes it very hard for others to understand him, he has thirty-seven cats that wander the apostolic palace, and he loves to ride around the Vatican in his golf cart. The Cardinal explained that the visit to the island is partly pastoral, but that the Pope is mostly interested in “getting south of the stress line for a bit.” 

In the spirit of ecumenism, the Methodist and Assembly of God churches are planning a potluck in the Pope’s honor. They were hoping to have it at the community center, but that’s already been booked by the quilting circle. The Current will let you know as soon as a new venue is found.  

In anticipation of his visit, Pope Francis has already weighed in on some of the issues facing Ocracoke. Speaking to a delegation of American cardinals yesterday, he declared that restrictions on beach driving are, “An affront against human dignity which cries to heaven for redress.” Later, he used his weekly radio address to denounce the proposed ferry rate increases as “Total b.s.” 


Comments powered by Disqus